The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the Atlanta Falcons. 81129
The Falcons come up with just one touchdown in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota tossed an interception in the final minute of the game to seal the win for Pittsburgh. AJC Sports Columnist Michael Cunningham and producer Daniel Sallerson discuss whether or not it's time for the Falcons to make a QB change. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Atlanta Falcons remain a half-game back in the NFC South with five games to play. They've played nine one-score games and have won four of them. The Falcons (5-7) will host the Steelers (4-7) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Steelers, who feature rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, have won 2 of their past 3 games and are coming off a 24-17 win over Matt Ryan and the Indianapolis Colts. They also have wide receiver George Pickens, who played at Georgia, and defensive tackle Cam Heyward, who played at Whitfield Academy and Peachtree Ridge. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
With a chance to take the lead and post a dramatic win, Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota tossed an interception in the final minute of the game. Washington's Daron Payne tipped the ball up in the air and cornerback Kendall Fuller came down with the interception. The pass was intended for running back Cordarrelle Patterson. The Falcons dropped to 5-7 on the season, but remain just a half-game out of first place in the NFC South. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Falcons (5-6) are set to face the Washington Commanders (6-5) in a big matchup that has playoff implications in the NFC. The Falcons are fighting to catch the Buccaneers and the Commanders, who have won five of their past six games, are in the stacked NFC East. They are chasing the Eagles (9-1), Cowboys (7-3) and Giants (7-3) . Quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who torched the Falcons last season, has been named the starter and is 4-1 this season. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson sparked the team with a record-setting 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to help them rally from a 10-point deficit. The Falcons stopped their two-game losing streak, but needed a 53-yard field goal from Younghoe Koo with 1:47 left to play and an interception from safety Jaylinn Hawkins to secure the victory to remain in second place in the NFC South. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In the 369th episode of the Bow Tie Chronicles podcast, former Chicago Bears defensive end Corey Wootton stops by to help us preview quarterback Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears. He helps us breakdown the play of Justin Fields, the trades of Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith, new coach Matt Eberflus and how the two teams matchup. Also, Falcons coach Arthur Smith drops by to address the QB situation and Fields. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Falcons were not able to stop the run and had their rushing attack slowed down for the first time this season. The Panthers prevailed 25-15 on Thursday Night Football at Bank of America Stadium. The Falcons were held to 33 yards rushing in the first half. The Panthers ran the ball 47 times for 232 yards and two touchdowns. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees believes his unit is trending in the right direction heading to the game against the Panthers. He noted that they do need to improve on third down, but there have been incremental improvements for the defense. The unit is ranked last in the league in pass defense and 29th in third down conversions. The Chargers converted on six straight third downs to get back in the game after the Falcons took a 10-0 lead. The issue had to be discussed, while acknowledging the other incremental improvements. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Falcons opened up strong and took a 10-0 lead. But they fizzled down the stretch against the Los Angeles Chargers. They were defeated 20-17 to drop to 4-5 in the NFC South. Defensive end Ta'quon Graham recovered a fumble in the final minute of the game, but then he fumbled it back to the Chargers, who promptly got into field goal range and won at the buzzer. The Falcons must improve their passing attack. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Falcons (4-4) are set to host Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers (4-3) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Herbert is completing 65.9% of his passing and has thrown 12 touchdowns and just four interceptions. The defense is led by edge rusher Khalil Mack and safety Derwin James. Also, Falcons wide receiver Damiere Byrd, a former undrafted player on his fifth team, discusses his NFL journey in a one-on-one interview. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Falcons improved to 4-4 on the season with a 37-34 overtime win over the Carolina Panthers. The Falcons are now in first place in the NFC South after kicker Younghoe Koo made a 41-yard field goal with 2:00 left in overtime. The Falcons and the Panthers combined to score three touchdowns over the final 3:06 of regulation in a wild finish. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In a big NFC South matchup, the Falcons (3-4) are set to host the Carolina Panthers (2-5) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Panthers are coming off a big 21-3 upset of the Bucs. Interim coach Steve Wilks plans to continue to play quarterback P.J. Walker and rely on a strong rushing attack. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Falcons' depleted secondary was no match for Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow and his fleet of wide receivers. Burrow passed for 481 yards, three touchdowns and rushed for another score. The Falcons fell behind 21-0 and could not rally back like they did against the Rams and the Bucs. They remained tied for first place in the NFC South with a 3-4 record. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Cincinnati Bengals stumbled out of the gate by losing their first two games, but have since won three of their last four. The high-power passing attack is led by quarterback Joe Burrow, who's tossed 12 touchdowns and just five interceptions this season. The Bengals highly respectable defense could be missing linebacker Logan Wilson, who's tied for the team lead in solo tackles with 25. A key matchup will be the Falcons pass defense (28th rank) vs. the Bengals passing offense (8th rank). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Behind a near flawless performance from quarterback Marcus Mariota and some opportunistic defense, the Falcons beat the San Francisco 49ers 28-14 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday Mariota completed 13 of 14 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed six times for 50 yards. The defense, led by linebackers Rashaan Evans and Troy Andersen, shut down the 49ers vaunted rushing attack and held them scoreless in the second half of the game. Evans and Andersen finished with 12 tackles each. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Atlanta Falcons (2-3) are set to face the San Francisco 49ers (3-2), who will bring the No. 1 ranked defense in the league to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The 49ers are giving up just 12.2 points per game and 249.2 yards per game, which both rank No.1 overall. Coach Arthur Smith, tight end Anthony Firsker, running back Avery Williams, safety Jaylinn Hawkins, linebacker Nathan Landman and running back Caleb Huntley stop by to help us get the pulse of the team heading into the game. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Two questionable calls late in the game help to doom the Falcons in a 21-15 loss to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. After falling behind 21-0, the Falcon stormed back and had an apparent stop on third down, but were called for defensive holding. They had another apparent stop, but were called for unnecessary roughness which helped the Bucs run out the clock. The Falcons dropped to 2-3 on the season, while the Bucs improved to 3-2 and took sole possession of first place in the NFC South. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Falcons (2-2) are set to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) in a battle for first place in the NFC South. The Falcons have won their last two games, while Tom Brady and the Bucs are coming off losses to Green Bay and Kansas City. The winner will take sole possession of first place. Bucs wide receivers Julio Jones and Russell Gage are former Falcons. Also, safety Keanu Neal is a key reserve of defense for the Bucs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Atlanta Falcons rushed for more than 200 yards in a 23-20 upset victory of the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. The Falcons used a committee of running backs to wear down the Browns depleted defensive front. Cordarrelle Patterson started the game, but running backs Caleb Huntley, Tyler Allgeier and Avery Williams all chipped in to help pull off the victory. The defense closed out the game with a big sack from Grady Jarrett and an interception from cornerback Dee Alford. The Falcons improved to 2-2 on the season with the victory. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.Com and The Plain Dealer stopped by to help up breakdown the Cleveland Browns (2-1) who are set to play the Atlanta Falcons (1-2) at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Browns are led by running back Nick Chubb and defensive end Myles Garrett, who was in auto accident. Chubb, who played at Georgia, leads the NFL in rushing and Garrett's status for the game is unknown. This will be the 16th meeting with Cleveland leading the series 12-3. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Atlanta Falcons overcame a late security alert and a fumble to pull out a 27-23 victory over the Seahawks in a hostile Lumen Field. The Falcons needed a late sack from two-time Pro Bowler Grady Jarrett and an interception from safety Richie Grant to preserve the win. Running back Cordarrelle Patterson rushed 17 times for 141 yards to help power the offensive attack and tight end Kyle Pitts had his most productive game of the season with five catches for 87 yards. . Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Falcons (0-2) are set to face the Seattle Seahawks (1-1) at 4:25 p.m. at Lumen Field on Sunday. Falcons Pro Bowl tight end Kyle Pitts has just four catches for 38 yards over the first two games, but he is having a huge impact on the games. He's pulling cover away from other receivers and helping with some pass blocking. The Falcons are getting ready for quarterback Geno Smith, who has surfaced as Russell Wilson's replacement in Seattle. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Falcons fell behind 28-3 and rallied against the Rams. The, nearly pulled off a furious upset rally. The Rams Jalen Ramsey came up with a late interception to protect the win. The Falcons dropped to 0-2 on the season and have lost both games by just five points. The Falcons will seek to rebound against the Seahawks.
The Falcons and the Rams will seek to rebound from disappointing opening games. The Rams were blasted by the Bills and the Falcons blew a 16-point fourth-quarter lead in a 27-26 loss to the Saints. Special guest Gilbert Manzano, who covers the Los Angeles Rams for the Orange County Register and the Southern California News Group, drops by to provide insight on the Rams. Arthur Smith, Chris Lindstrom, Damien Williams and Arnold Ebiketie visit to discuss the Falcons. . .
The Falcons were getting after it for three-and-half quarters and had a chance to build a 20-point lead. But Marcus Mariota fumbled on the 5-yard line and the defense became unglued down the stretch. Despite winning most of the key statistical categories, the Falcons coughed up a 26-10 lead. Wil Lutz, who played at Georgia State, made a 51-yard field with 19 seconds left. The Falcons' 63-yard attempt at the buzzer was blocked.
No one in Atlanta is crying about the departure of Sean Payton as the Saints coach. He was 21-9 in the series and won a Super Bowl. The Saints are now led by Dennis Allen, the son of former Falcons linebacker Grady Allen (1968-72). The Saints, under the direction of quarterback Jameis Winston, will open the season against the Atlanta Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Saints have some key new additions in safety Tyrann Mathieu, wide receiver Jarvis Landry and safety Marcus Maye.
The Falcons made moves with 27 players to cut down to the 53-man roster. There were a few surprises including defensive back Dee Alford, defensive tackle Timothy Horne and former lacrosse player Jared Bernhardt. Veteran running back Qadree Ollison and tight end Anthony Firkser were two of the surprise cuts. The roster will remain fluid. Should the Falcons look at running back Sony Michel, who has won Super Bowl rings with New England and the Rams.
In the exhibition season finale, rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder led the Falcons to a 28-12 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Ridder played into the fourth quarter and guided the Falcons to four touchdowns. In addition to Ridder, running back Caleb Huntley led the way with 17 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown. Rookie running back Tyler Allgeier had a rushing and a receiving touchdown. The Falcons finished the exhibition season 2-1.
The Falcons (1-1) are set to face Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars (0-3) in their exhibition season finale at 3 p.m. Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Falcons coach Arthur Smith, running back Cordarrelle Patterson quarterback Marcus Mariota, outside linebacker Ade Ogundeji and inside linebacker Deion Jones stop by to let us know how the team is coming along as they are getting ready to play the Jaguars.
The Falcons jumped out to a 16-0 lead, but the reserves could not build on the lead. Falcons coach Arthur Smith actually apologized for the poor play in the second half as the Jets scored 21 unanswered points. Quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder both played well, but could not overcome 13 penalties for 121 yards. Also, tight end Kyle Pitts flashed is big play-making ability for a 52- yard pass play.
The Falcons, who are 1-0 in the exhibition season, are set to hold joint practices with the New York Jets on Friday and Saturday in Florham Park, New York. Special guest Will McFadden stops by to help us break down the game. The Jets have a stout defensive front that will test the Falcons' offensive line, which has three openings.. Also, with second-year quarterback Zack Wilson out after knee surgery, the Falcons' secondary could be tested by veteran quarterback Joe Flacco. Coaches Arthur Smith and Robert Saleh are both in their second years as NFL head coaches. The Falcons went 7-10 last season and the Jets were 4-13. .
Falcons quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder, both made plays to help them defeat the Detroit Lions 27-23 on Friday night at Ford Field. Ridder tossed a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jared Bernhardt with 1:30 to play to pull out the win. Defensive tackle Timothy Horne had a big fumble recovery to get the offense the ball back with 2:00 to play. Cornerback Dee Alford led the Falcons with eight tackles and had an interception.
Gym class and tag football is over. The Falcons will do some real hitting when they face the Detroit Lions in the exhibition season opener at 6 p.m. Friday at Ford Field. Both teams are set to play their starters. The Falcons' defensive line will get a good test against Detroit's sturdy offensive line. Also, running back D'Andre Swift will challenge the defense. Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota is set to make his return to the NFL spotlight after toiling on the bench of the Raiders the past two seasons.
Author Jason Reid stops by to discuss his book: Rise of the Black Quarterback -- What it Means for America. We discuss the role of of former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick in the evolution of the position along with the importance of Randall Cunningham. Reid discuss the journey of the position starting with Fritz Pollard all the way through to current Black quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes. He also explains the 12-year ban and what the rise of the Black Quarterback means for America.
Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees has 13 seasons of coordinating defenses in the NFL. He's had seven defenses finish in the top 10 of yards allowed and 10 finished in the top half of the league. He noted that the Falcons have had only one top 10 defense over the past 20 years (2017, 9th by Marquand Manuel). He wants to change that, but will need the players to take charge. He discusses changing the culture and some of the issues the Falcons face.
The Atlanta Falcons are coming off a 7-10 season, but after trading Matt Ryan and revamping several key position groups the outlook for the 2022 season is bleak. One publication picked them to win just two games and Las Vegas has set the line at 4.5 wins for the entire 17-game seasons. The Falcons reported for training camp on Tuesday and will hold their first practice on Wednesday.
Falcons coach Arthur Smith discusses the offseason and some of the keys for the defense to improve. He is looking for a couple of players to step up and help provide an interior pass rush on the defensive side of the football. The Falcons have revamped their interior linebacker position and have spent some resources at outside linebacker as they've added Lorenzo Carter, Arnold Ebiketie and DeAngelo Malone this offseason. He also advises to keep an eye on linebacker Quentin Bell, outside linebacker Jordan Brailford and cornerback Dee Alford.
Falcons coach Arthur Smith helps up look at the personnel on the offensive side of the ball. He shares his philosophy on how the franchise plans to develop players along the offensive line and at the quarterback position. The Falcons have also undergone an cultural shift at the wide receiver position with a lot of big and tough-minded players, who can play inside the numbers of the field. The running back by committee appears to be much-improved.
With little money to participate in free agency and several major surprises, the Falcons had a tumultuous offseason that changed the direction of the franchise. We'll look back on the offseason from the completion of their 7-10 season through the trade of Matt Ryan and the mandatory minicamp. AJC columnist Mark Bradley drops by to help us reflect on the offseason.
The Falcons are set to wrap up their final minicamp practice and several position battles are set up for training camp. The No. 1 battle will be at the quarterback position between Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder to see who will replace Matt Ryan. There are several other position battles on both sides of the football that will be intriguing when the team reconvenes in late July.
Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees said the defense operated on 60% of the scheme last season, but will move to 100% in 2022. It was also noted that while the defense was 29th in scoring points allowed, they were 19th in explosive pass rate and 13th in explosive run rates. They didn't give up big plays, but they'll need to get more stops. Also, outside linebacker coach Ted MOnachino and assistant defensive line coach Lanier Goethie stop by to give us updates on their position groups.
For the first time in 14 seasons, the Falcons are set to have a new starting quarterback. We discussed the situation during our one-on-one with head coach Arthur Smith. We also spoked to quarterbacks coach Charles London and quarterback Marcus Mariota. The Falcons want to get Mariota ready after two seasons as a reserve, develop rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder and find a role of Feleipe Franks. We also give you the five players to watch during the open OTA session on Friday.